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Please Help Matt Jackson & Kristy Benner

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Hello. This GoFundMe has been established to support the needs of Matt Jackson and Kristy Benner as they make their way out of a very complex and tenuous medical situation. On Tuesday, September 5, 2023, Matt and Kristy’s vacation in France went from amazing to nightmarish in a matter of hours. Matt started to feel unwell while wine tasting. Long story short, Matt ended up in the hospital and within 24 hours, he required a ventilator to support his breathing. He lost the ability to speak and swallow so they have him on a feeding tube. He is also unable to open his eyelids so he cannot see.

The tentative diagnosis was Guillain-Barré Syndrome; however, Kristy had her doubts because she was also starting to feel ill over the next few days. His symptoms had appeared after they ate sardines at a wine bar. After looking up food poisoning, Kristy discovered that symptoms for Guillain-Barré and Botulism look similar so she pushed the doctors for a test. On Monday, September 11, lab results confirmed that Matt has Botulism and Kristy as well, so she was admitted to the hospital. The hospital then learned that 8 others had come down with botulism from the same sardines/wine bar (all at different hospitals), and that 3 of them are also on ventilators. Antitoxin treatment was flown to Bordeaux, and Matt and Kristy underwent immediate antitoxin treatment yesterday.

Kristy was thankfully discharged today but Matt’s response to Botulism has been extremely severe, and the road to recovery is anticipated to be long. There is still much uncertainty in the immediate future as to when they can be transported back to the United States. And once they do return to the United States, they are not sure where they will continue to recover and how long that will take. Matt’s ability to do much of anything is compromised at the moment, and Kristy put up one hell of a fight against Botulism while supporting Matt. Work and life are put on hold while they receive treatment and gain back their health. Thankfully, they are not alone in France; Matt’s sister and brother are now there, with more family expected to arrive soon to help figure out what’s next.

Consider offering your support to these two most lovely humans as they get back on their feet. The funds from this fundraiser will be used for residual medical expenses, living expenses for the extent of their stay in France, and rehabilitation services for Matt once those become apparent.

For updates on their journey, please follow Matt's CaringBridge site:
Site Name: themattjackson

We greatly appreciate all of your love, prayers, and support!
Lara, Gina, Kimberly, & Tiffany


  • Joanne M Conley
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Peter Colman
    • $200 
    • 9 mos
  • Thomas Thomson
    • $500 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Janelle Albino
    • $50 
    • 10 mos

Fundraising team (4)

Lara Cordell
San Diego, CA
Matthew Jackson
Tiffany Mustich
Team member
Gina Amanatullah
Team member
Kimberly Tipton
Team member

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